(February 17, 2022 / JNS) A group of 17 bipartisan lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to relabel the Houthis as a terrorist organization.
The letter, led by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Mike Waltz (F-Fla.), both veterans serving on the House Armed Services Committee, cited the escalating attacks by the terror group backed by Iran, including drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates, a close US ally where US troops are stationed.
“The upsurge in Houthi aggression against our close allies and uniformed personnel is unacceptable,” the letter read. “Their recent attacks on major international transit hubs such as Dubai show an increase in lethal capacity and a desire to increase attacks on critical civilian infrastructure.”
Noting that the Houthis are diverting aid from the Yemeni people, lawmakers urge the United States “to remain committed to helping our Gulf partners defend themselves.”
The outgoing Trump administration added the Houthis to the US State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in January 2021.
However, shortly after taking office, the Biden administration deposed the Houthis as part of a strategy to end Yemen’s eight-year war that has claimed more than 130,000 lives. However, with the new attacks, the Biden administration said in late January that a new designation was “under consideration.”
The letter comes as Israel has expressed serious concerns about the threat the Houthis pose to the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made his first official trip to Bahrain this week to highlight the common threat that Iran and its terrorist proxies pose to the Jewish state and its Arab allies. Hezbollah has a presence in Yemen and helps the Houthis by giving them military knowledge and training while learning lessons from ‘Yemen’s war lab’ that they can apply against Israel in the future, former senior official says from defense to JNS.